Today’s Thoughts: I have a few disjoined thoughts for you today…
“To become saints, only one thing is necessary: to accept the grace which the Father gives us in Jesus Christ.” (Pope Francis)
Today, we remember, we honor, and we say thank you to all the women and men whom the Church calls saints, but also whom we call saints. People who have touched our lives down through the centuries. People who shared their faith and perhaps more importantly lived their faith so that we might encounter the presence of God, so that we might grow into the people God created us to be, so that we might believe. They were mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, friends, teachers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbors, strangers, companions on the journey, ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives of faith.
Pope Francis talks about the saints in our lives this way; “I see the holiness in the patience of the people of God: a woman who is raising children, a man who works to bring home the bread, the sick, the elderly priests who have so many wounds but have a smile on their faces because they served the Lord, the sisters who work hard and live a hidden sanctity. This is for me the common sanctity. I often associate sanctity with patience: not only patience as hypomoné [See note], taking charge of the events and circumstances of life, but also as a constancy in going forward, day by day. This is the sanctity of the militant church also mentioned by St. Ignatius. This was the sanctity of my parents: my dad, my mom, my grandmother Rosa who loved me so much. In my breviary I have the last will of my grandmother Rosa, and I read it often. For me it is like a prayer. She is a saint who has suffered so much, also spiritually, and yet always went forward with courage.” Note: (Hypomoné is a New Testament Greek word meaning – the capacity to endure under difficult circumstances; bearing everyday tasks, contradictions, tribulations.)
Pope Francis also says that – “We need saints without cassocks, without veils - we need saints with jeans and tennis shoes. We need saints that go to the movies that listen to music that hang out with their friends.... We need saints that drink Coca-Cola, that eat hot dogs, that surf the internet and that listen to their iPods. We need saints that love the Eucharist, that are not afraid or embarrassed to eat a pizza or drink a beer with their friends. We need saints who love the movies, dance, sports, and theatre. We need saints that are open, sociable, normal, happy companions. We need saints who are in this world and who know how to enjoy the best in this world without being callous or mundane. We need saints.”
One last thought from Pope Francis on this All Saints Day. Today’s Gospel is the passage of the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel. During his homily a few years ago at an All Saints Mass in Sweden Pope Francis proposed six new beatitudes for the modern era:
"Blessed are those who remain faithful while enduring evils inflicted on them by others, and forgive them from their heart;
"Blessed are those who look into the eyes of the abandoned and marginalized, and show them their closeness;
"Blessed are those who see God in every person, and strive to make others also discover him;
"Blessed are those who protect and care for our common home;
"Blessed are those who renounce their own comfort in order to help others;
"Blessed are those who pray and work for full communion between Christians."
So, to all those who lived these beatitudes and touched us with sanctity and helped us to be the people we are today…we say thank you!
Have a great Friday everyone! Remember today is a Holy Day so find a little time for God.
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Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...